Idaho’s judiciary has faced challenges for years — overburdened public defenders, lawsuits over public defense, overcrowding in prisons and county jails, the opioid crisis, and a recidivism rate that the state is struggling to reduce, to name a few.
In 2019, new leaders will face those challenges. The Idaho Legislature has two new judiciary committee chairmen: Rep. Tom Dayley in the House, and Sen. Todd Lakey in the Senate. Josh Tewalt is replacing Henry Atencio as Idaho Department of Correction director, and, of course, Governor-elect Brad Little takes office in January.
So is this a time to be innovative and assertive with new policies to reduce incarceration trends, or a time to be cautious while these new leaders figure out their roles? This week, I sat down with Lakey and Dayley, as well as Kathy Grismyer of ACLU-Idaho and Cindy Wilson of the IDOC Board of Correction to discuss those challenges.
Tune in to Idaho Reports at 8 pm Friday on Idaho Public Television, or watch online at idahoptv.org/idreports after it airs.
Also, I’ve put together a newsletter with Idaho political and legislative news, with links to reporting from across the state. New issues come out at noon — most days, anyway. Subscribe here: nzzl.us/i92ej36